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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dotson

Happy Birthday, Dirty Ramón

Today I feel your presence in the rustling leaves and chirping birds. I taste your appreciation in the Blizzard I got in honor of your birthday. I see you in our dogs’ eyes as they pierce my soul.


I channel your patience when one of said dogs pees on the floor—simply saying, “I’m sorry I didn’t let you out in time.” I yearn for you when I look at my rings, symbols that we once committed our lives to each other. I ache knowing that you loved me for the rest of your life, yet I’m comforted knowing you wanted love for me in your absence.


Yesterday I felt your presence in QT as I loaded up on caffeine, reminiscing about our occasional slushie runs. I remembered how you told me you once overflowed your slushie cup in high school, earning the nickname “Dirty Ramón.” And how your feelings were hurt at the time, yet I thought it was one of the funniest things I’d ever heard.


I took video of the moment I couldn’t stop laughing about Dirty Ramón. And in the video, I hear my raspy cough—the one that has all but disappeared since your death. I long for a world in which you could have experienced this healthier me. At times, when I’m laughing my hardest, no cough to be found, I think about how grateful you’d be to see me living a life that wasn’t so limited by cystic fibrosis.


I wish you were here for all of it, Dirty Ramón. I’m happy you were born.


P.S. Want to honor Ramón today? I know he'd love a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or a cause promoting civil rights, equality, equal justice, and animal rights.



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